by Marian Cochran
First published in the PAS Newsletter volume 5, number 1, January 1998.
I took my young cock to work today. I belong to an HP Toastmastersclub, and I introduced a guest speaker who was giving an "ice-breaker"speech. This is the first Toastmaster speech, designed to overcomestage fright.
I said the potential member was practicing to do an importantcareer-make-or-break presentation in Roseville Oct 26. I asked fortheir patience and warm support, then asked them help me welcome ourguest. Then I swept my arm toward my friend, who walked up to thepodium carrying a sack. They all expect her to stammer out sometechnical presentation she would be giving at the HP facility inRoseville. But instead, I thanked her for escorting the "TiniestToastmaster," and took the bird and show cage out of her shopping bag.
Then I explained he was practicing to go to the Capitol City bird clubat the Roseville fairgrounds. Bird training, just like Toastmastertraining, emphasizes repeatedly practicing so the "speaker" becomesless and less fearful, and more and more confident.
I told him we felt his pain, that we all knew what it was like to feelsmall and vulnerable in front of strangers. He cheeped a few times,and I made a few jokes about how he wouldn't sing, and answered a fewquestions about canaries. At the end of the 7 minutes, they applaudedand we sat down. THEN HE SANG! Softly at first, but HE SANG. That'sthe first time he's sung in front of any kind of a crowd, and aboutthe 3rd time he's been willing to sing in that darned tiny show cage.
HE SANG! I'm so happy! If he sings like that for the judges at thefair, I'll get him a nice trophy wife, just like rich industrialistsbuy - a young thing from a good family, with sexy feathers. Then I'minviting the club to my house for the wedding. I'll serve champagneand broccoli!
Whooppee! HE SANG!
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